Lessons in Education: Schools Are “Outed”! (Part 9)

Categories: Léo’s Insights 2020-2021, Schools Are “Outed”!

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The COVID-19 pandemic caused all of us to reassess priorities and politics this past spring. One of the obvious areas where this has had to take place was within the education system when schools were closed indefinitely.

Of particular interest to home educators is how the pandemic has caused some to question the conventional wisdom of the school’s approach to education. From questioning “socialization” to differentiating between home schooling and home education, the schools’ closure forced us all to rethink what is normally considered as status quo.

It is said that the best way to hide a lie is right out in the open. This is something that schools have been doing for years, which is one of the things that the pandemic exposed. The sending of all the students home has turned the most common assumption regarding education on its head, which in turn has led to much frustration.

This frustration has been demonstrated in three ways, all of which point to one glaring misconception regarding public education.

The first discovery was that even though the schools may have provided students with lessons and expectations, outside the cloistered authoritarian environment of the classroom, students tended to do what they wanted, as the ability to enforce these directives was gone.

Without the pressure of a teacher physically there, students were free to ignore the lessons, and many of them did. This pointed to a misunderstanding of who has the authority. Generally speaking, the answer is, whoever has the biggest stick or carrot. Students respond to the person who has the ability to enforce the demands made on them. This usually cannot be done from a distance.

The second discovery was that programming designed to be delivered in school with the help of certificated teachers does not really fit online delivery. The reason is because students are much freer to be comfortable in their own skins when at home. This provided students with a bit more decision-making power to do or study what interested them rather than what someone else said they should do or be interested in.

The third discovery was the schools were ill prepared to extend their reach into the home. From teachers not really being comfortable with online delivery to there being a multitude of methods by which to do so, everything pointed to that one big lie hidden right out in the open.

There is no such thing as a standard in education. There is no standard student, nor is there a standard teacher. There is no one size fits all standard program and no single standard approach to delivery. Even the standards advanced as grade level expectations within the school are incredible by their lack of definition or, if you will indulge me, by their lack of standards.

All this pointed to one truth respecting the lie of educational standards and that is that most people simply trust government as best able and having the ultimate know how and authority to teach children. While there may be no standard student, curriculum, teacher, expectations or methods of delivery, the one standard that remained unquestioned was the ubiquitous belief in government standards.

The overall lesson learned from the COVID-19 experience was the level of parental submission to the big lie of standard school expectations for the education of an incredibly diverse population of students. Home educators have generally known this for a long time, unless of course, if they also subscribe to the lie of a supposed standard respecting the training and teaching of children.

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